Skills crisis

Skills Crisis Ahead

As Brexit gets ever-nearer, and the world of work changes with technological advances, the UK is heading towards a skills shortage that will hit employers hard…

The UK is falling behind its European counterparts when it comes to education levels and training in the workplace, according to research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

As Britain heads towards a future out of Europe, the CIPD’s report – From ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’: making the UK’s skills system world-class – shows that the UK lags behind most OECD (The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries in at least four major skillsets.

You can download and read the full report here [CIPD Policy Report April 2017].

To put this in perspective – the UK and Northern Ireland are at the bottom of 19 countries in terms of young people’s computer-solving skills and in the bottom four for literacy and numeracy for 16- to 24-year-olds.

The research also shows that UK employers spend less on training than the other main EU countries. Back in 2010 the average cost was 266 per employee compared to 511 across the EU – and this disparity is only getting wider.

Employers have been highlighting this lack of skills and the lack of development for more than a decade, but little practical action appears to have taken place. The CIPD has already called for the government to put skills at the core of the national industrial strategy, as well as looking for organisations to invest in more training in the workplace and to look to increase their skills bases. This also means that HR professionals will have a major role to play in identifying where there are skills deficits, and devising strategies to compensate.

When it comes to digital skills, the problem is that some of the jobs that are available now hadn’t really been thought of 15 years ago – just consider social media and digital content vacancies. When Facebook first began 13 years ago, how many people would have imagined that it would be possible to make a living running a social media strategy for a company!

And as technology advances, there are going to be more – not less – jobs that we could not have imagined. HR staff can help by staying on top of advances and identifying where training existing staff will help productivity or where it is necessary to being in employees skilled in certain areas.

It is not only in digital skills that the UK is lacking either – a recent CBI survey [Independent: UK migration figures underscore acute risk of labour shortage, leading business groups warn – 24 August 2017] suggests that the skills shortage in the services sector – is the worst it has been for 19 years. And with the likely exit of many Eastern European nationals – who are at the heart of a number of our industries such as construction and care – who is going to be building all the new homes the government is planning or caring for our elderly in a nation where we are all living longer than ever before?

“The loss of these vital skills should concern us all,” says Matthew Percival, head of employment at the Confederation of British Industry.

Vocational training is necessary to plug this gap – and it needs to happen quickly – with Brexit happening in the very near future, we need to get people trained and ready to work as soon as possible.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 07767 308717 or contact us via our website.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

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Events Executive

Lovely independent company needs a top-class part-time Events Executive with exceptional organisational and administrative skills. A can-do attitude, and an interest in arranging conferences and awards with a track record to evidence.

Where’s the job?

Office in Central Harrow HA1, less than 5 minutes’ walk from Harrow-on-the-Hill station. It couldn’t be more convenient, you don’t need to experience the City commute.

For a full job description, or to register your interest, complete our contact form quoting TMLSep2017/005.

What’s the pay?

Circa. £23,625 per annum Full Time Equivalent, pro rata for part-time.

What about the hours?

Yes, it’s a part-time, permanent position.

Monday to Friday, circa. 20 hours a week to be discussed. There is a need for flexibility. When there is an event you would put in more hours and have time off to compensate.

About the company

The company is a leading provider of innovative media solutions to the kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms, and electrical retailing industries. Working alongside the Events and Operations Director you will support the Events Team including day-to-day administrative tasks, communication with clients and suppliers and undertake research and analysis.

The client’s B2B and B2C publications are well renowned, as are their successful industry events and conferences.

About you

As the ideal person, you are adept at prioritising workload, managing your time effectively and multitasking. You are numerate, accurate and analytical. Your communication skills, both verbal and written, are excellent and you have a confident telephone manner and a strong customer service persona with the internal teams and with external stakeholders, enabling you to build relationships at all levels.

As an Events Executive are proactive, reliable, motivated, detail conscious with a conscientious work ethic. You contribute to generating ideas for team and client initiatives, and are open-minded to changing environments and circumstances. You observe, listen and contribute to both client and teams, and have a winning attitude and can demonstrate a commitment to business goals and objectives.

You may have a marketing or customer service qualification which you may have obtained working in other events roles which is an advantage, but is not essential. A driver’s licence is essential for mobility to attend events.

You have the flexibility to travel within the UK with overnight stays as required during events, and the flexibility to extend your working hours in the run-up to events.

Main responsibilities:

  • Support to the Events and Operations Director and the Sales Team
  • Develop procedures to enhance the smooth operation of the events portfolio, including supporting the team in the planning and delivery of current and new events
  • Liaise with and support sponsors, guests, finalists, winners, delegates before, during and after prestigious industry events
  • Liaise with judging panels and speakers, arrange judging sessions
  • Organise event industry catering
  • Manage seating plans, guest lists, table seating plans
  • Active involvement on site during build-up, open period and breakdown
  • Manage event databases
  • Build relationships with entrants, guests, external suppliers and venues
  • Contribute to digital marketing and social media, assist with marketing events including creating campaigns
  • Proficient user of Microsoft Office products
  • Other duties assigned by the Events and Operations Director

Benefits include:

  • Circa. 20 hour working week from Monday-Friday
  • Holidays 20 + 8 bank holidays, increasing to maximum of 25 + 8 bank holidays pro rata for part-time
  • Contributory company pension scheme
  • Attendance at prestigious industry events in the UK, including award evenings, conferences and exhibitions
  • Less than a 5-minute walk from Harrow-on-the-Hill Station
  • Friendly open working environment.

APPLY TODAY for this Events Executive role in Harrow. Complete our contact form quoting TMLSep2017/005.

Our client is an equal opportunities employer.

Embrace HR Limited is not a recruitment agency.

We recruit and select for our clients acting as their HR department.

No agencies please.

For further information please contact Amanda Shons by completing our contact form with your name, telephone number and email address and she will be in touch.

Please quote TMLAug2017/005


Embrace HR Limited is the proud winner of the SME Buckinghamshire Business Awards 2017

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Satisfied employees
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Happy Employees in the Workplace

From a rather way out suggestion from a Swedish politician, to some rather more reserved suggestions – there are plenty of ways you can make your workplace a happier place!

HR professionals must have been left reeling in Sweden after a politician suggested that sex breaks in the workplace would be good for the physical and mental health of employees! The vote on his proposal is due in the spring, so we will look forward to seeing the results…

In the meantime, it is worth looking at how you can keep your employees happy in more conventional ways. After all, we all know how ensuring your workforce is content can result in better productivity for any company. It also encourages your people to stay with you, cutting back on time and resources spent on recruiting and training new staff.

Work/Life Balance

We are certainly not suggesting that you introduce conjugal breaks, but ensuring that your staff have a healthy work/life balance will help them maintain healthy relationships outside of work. And people who are in happy, healthy relationships tend to work better and be more focused, which can only be of benefit for your organisation. Considering policies that allow flexible working and discouraging a workplace culture of outside-hours working will also help.

When it comes to relationships at work, you need to consider whether you have some sort of Romance Policy in place, and what needs to happen should romances between colleagues flourish – according to reports around 15% of people meet partners at work, so it’s something that needs to be addressed by HR. I have written about this subject before.

Employee Benefits

A study in the Journal of Labor Economics in October 2015 found that happy employees generated about 12% more work than others, so it really is worth spending the time to ensure your staff are content, especially if you consider that research by employee benefits and perks company Perkbox found that 30% (that’s 6.5 million!) of UK workers are unhappy at work and would move jobs for better benefits.

A massive 69% said company perks and benefits were important to their overall satisfaction and more than a quarter pointed out that lack of reward and recognition for good work was their main grievance at work.

Recognition & Praise

Recognising and acknowledging good work and effort is not hard to do – encourage your managers to praise on a daily basis where it is due – and make sure that it is widely known that recognition can come in several forms, whether verbally, by email or for more major achievements using a more public vehicle such as company newsletter or intranet.

Holiday Entitlement

Finally, while it is still summer – though we think someone may have forgotten to tell the weather – do remember that it is vitally important to have a break. Managers should not only encourage their staff to take at least one long break, rather than lots of odd days, but should also plan in advance for cover and ensure there is a sufficient handover. This will help your staff to go away without fear of being contacted while they are on holiday – and also ensure that the remaining staff members don’t end up doing two jobs while their colleague is away. More advice on this here.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR.

T: 07767 308717 or send an email.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Cybercrime Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Fighting Cybercrime

The threat of cybercrime to British businesses is very real – and increasing all the time. This is one subject you shouldn’t ignore…

British businesses lost almost £30 billion due to cybercrime in 2016*. And nearly half fell victim to some kind of cybercrime, whether that was phishing, hacking, denial of service attacks or viruses.

If you are unaware of the damage cybercrime can do – just think back to May, when the NHS was subject to a ransomware attack, which brought down systems around the country, resulting in chaos and cancelled operations.

Is your data safe from hackers?

As hackers increasingly exploit human vulnerability, what can HR do to fight back? Protecting against cyber assaults is a more complex issue than just throwing money into better software and training your IT department. Read People Management’s new report [CIPD: Cybersecurity is too important to be left to the IT department 27/06/2017] to find out about the vital role HR has to play in educating employees and addressing organisational vulnerabilities.

People Management’s report reveals that 46% of UK employees spent half an hour or less on cyber security training in 2016, with 27% having done none at all. A new attitude towards training is clearly needed and Peter Cheese, CIPD Chief Executive, believes the trick to delivering effective cyber security training is to show how cybercrime could affect staff in their personal lives.

Take this free e-learning module [CIPD: Cyber Security for HR Professionals] on cyber security for HR professionals, to learn how to protect yourself and your organisation.

Speaking recently at an event with the Financial Times, Peter Cheese said that lifelong learning will be vital to future sustainability in a world where ‘data is the new electricity’.

So, it’s vital that companies are protected – and it is not just down to the IT department, HR has a role to play too.

HR’s role in cybercrime

The HR role is to educate employees, after all that is your strength. IT staff may know all the ins and out of cybersecurity, but it is the HR staff who have the skills to pass that knowledge on to the staff. And at present, according to Government research, only 17% of businesses are training their staff to be aware of cyber security.

It is obvious that that figure needs to change – and fast. This has to be a culture change within the organisation: you need to make sure employees buy in to the very real threat that cybercrime can pose to the company. They need to be aware, for instance, that you can’t just use random USB sticks in company computers without knowing what’s on them and where they come from.

And it’s not just in-house staff that need to be part of the culture change – freelancers and contractors need to be brought on board and made aware of the risks and the protocol to follow within your organisation.

When it comes to your training methods, if you can make it fun and engaging, you’ll be halfway to winning the battle. For consultancy firm PwC, the answer was to introduce a digital game called Game of Threats, which mimics a cyber-attack on an organisation.

And at the end of the day, companies also need people who are experts in the matter. HR has a role to play in ensuring that IT staff or consultants with specialist knowledge in this area are brought on board and are up to speed with the varying threats from cybercrime, as well as having the tools to tackle it.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR.

T: 07767 308717 or send a message.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

*Data from a report by Beaming [Beaming Ltd: Cyber security breaches cost British Businesses almost £30 billion in 2016 01/03/2017]

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CLOSED Senior Mechanic / Technician in Haddenham near Thame

Great job for the right person!

A well-established, family run business is recruiting a Senior Mechanic / Technician to join their team as soon as possible.

The company is expanding rapidly and so is the team.

Along with a vehicle hire service, the company supplies vans, minibuses and cars to local companies and individuals.  They have a well-equipped garage offering a full range of servicing, maintenance and replacement tyres.

Where is the job?

Based in Haddenham HP17 the company is an easy commute from Aylesbury or Thame

What’s the pay?

£23,000 – £28,000 per annum (dependent upon experience)

What hours will I work?

Working hours are Monday to Friday 08:00 to 18:00 with an hour for lunch.

What you I do?

  • Carry out services and repairs on cars and light commercial vehicles
  • Diagnose and fix problems on vehicles
  • Fit tyres and check tracking
  • Move vehicles in the yard and collect customers’ cars from the MOT centre
  • Maintain MOT and client records as appropriate using current IT systems
  • Ensure client personal and financial details are handled in accordance with ICO rules
  • Willingly work in a small team, supporting and sharing your experience with junior members of the team i.e. apprentices, trainees or less experienced mechanics, and champion their cause.
  • Support other areas of the business including checking hire vehicles and making deliveries
  • Ensure that the workplace is kept clean and tidy and in line with Health & Safety procedures
  • Use your initiative and experience to suggest and implement policies and procedures applicable to staff to help make it a great place to work
  • Demonstrate excellent customer service as you will be front-facing to our customers, including taking responding to telephone calls, taking messages, follow up client calls and booking in vehicles.

Key Skills & Experience

 We are looking for the following qualities and experience:

  • Recognised qualification as a motor mechanic / engineer; City and Guilds, NVQ or equivalent
  • A track record of working in a similar automotive workshop role
  • Excellent customer service and communication skills
  • Flexible, adaptable and a good team player
  • A full current and clean driving licence to drive in the UK (endorsements to be disclosed)
  • Experience in your trade, supported by references, (training, support and guidance will be provided as required)
  • You will have a positive attitude, be responsible and reliable
  • Your time keeping will be exemplary and you will deliver work within specified deadlines
  • As a senior in the team you will work on your own initiative
  • Your literacy, numeracy and IT skills will be at a good level.

 

This post operates a non-smoking environment

No agencies please

Embrace HR Limited is not an agency. We recruit for our clients.

 

For further information please contact Amanda Shons by completing our contact form with your name, telephone number and email address and she will be in touch.

Please quote reference BHJUN2017


Embrace HR Limited is the proud winner of the SME Buckinghamshire Business Awards 2017

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

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Gloucester – carer / buddy

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A JOB TO WORK AS A REHAB ASSISTANT / CARER / BUDDY?

Please contact us now and quote GL-CW2017.

This is a full-time position with a fixed term contract for one year, for a Rehab Assistant/ Carer / Buddy in Gloucester who has a cheerful and positive outlook, is proactive, reliable, trustworthy and a good communicator.

 

Working Time

School Term : 30 hours per week (split shift): Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 9:30am / 3:30pm to 7:30 pm

School Holidays: 40 hours per week: Monday to Friday – times to be mutually agreed and flexibility required for these hours and additional hours when required.

Additional hours when accompanying family on holiday, for supervision and training

 

Pay

£11.00 per hour – Sunday to Friday 7:00 am to 8:00 pm

£13:00 per hour – Monday to Friday 8:00 pm to 7:00 am (this rate applies to overnight on family holidays).  Sleeping nights at NMW or National Living Wage will apply

 

About the job

Our client is an adolescent boy who has Cerebral Palsy and lives at home in Gloucester with his mum, dad and younger brother.  He has a physical disability and is a wheelchair user.  He is dependent for all aspects of his care.   He has good day to day understanding and communicates by vocalisation, facial expression and via an Eye gaze communicator.

You will work within the family home, as well as supporting him with activities in the community and on family holidays to assist with client care, this could be outside of the UK and for up to two weeks.

A current, clean driver’s licence is a requirement as you will be expected to drive the client’s vehicle.

 

You should be able to demonstrate the ability to work effectively as part of a team, to attend team meetings, supervisions and training as appropriate, and to ensure a safe and consistent approach to the client’s care.

You will assist our client in all aspects of daily living, (personal, domestic, social/leisure and vocational, this will involve the use of a range of specialized equipment for example, hoists, postural seating systems and communication aids etc,) with the object of assisting his parents to meet his care needs, carry out his therapy programmes and in enabling him to pursue a fulfilling lifestyle.  You will also prepare meals and drinks for the client when required.

  • You will also assist our client during Hydrotherapy sessions, so confidence in the water is a requirement of the role.
  •  It is of prime importance for the Rehab Assistant/Carer/Buddy to facilitate our clients independence at all times, respecting confidentiality and privacy of our client and his family at all times.

We are looking for the right person and will provide supervision, guidance and required training, you will be comfortable working in a home with two small family dogs.

 

About you and your experience

  • Confident in water.
  • Clean UK driving license
  • Availability to attend family holidays, supervision and training when required.
  • Happy to work in a home with pet dogs.
  • Proactive, encouraging approach and aptitude to work with young people with complex needs.
  • Reliable, trustworthy and a good communicator, sensitive to the needs and wishes of our client.
  • Able to work flexibly, use initiative and learn new skills through training and instruction as agreed with the client/his parents/case manager.
  • To have a positive outlook, cheerful disposition along with a sense of humour
  • * Physically fit – even with specialist equipment in place and appropriate training, it is important that you are physically fit and able to use a hoist. A Handling Management Plan designed to reduce the risk of handling injuries may require you to bend, kneel, squat or lunge to ensure good posture during handling tasks.
  • Responsible attitude with a respect for confidentiality and client/family privacy at all times.
  • Some experience in providing care and carrying out therapy programmes is desirable
  • An Enhanced DBS is a requirement of the post. A conviction will not necessarily prevent you from being employed

 

This post operates a non-smoking environment at all times.

 

Are you the right person for the job? Is the job right for you?

We would love to hear from you so send us your CV and covering letter.

 

 No agencies please.

*The Employer claims exemption under the Equality Act 2010

Send your covering letter and CV, quote reference GL-CW2017 to recruitment@embracehr.co.uk or contact us here for an application pack.

The 'Always-on' generation. Image courtesy of nenetus at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
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The Youth of Today – Are you Ready for Generation Z?

When it comes to managing HR, you need to understand your market, and while you may have got a handle on the Millennials – those who reached young adulthood around the year 2000 – do you know about what’s coming next?

Generation Z (sometimes called the Post-Millennials) are the first generation to have grown up in a truly digital world. They are often referred to as the ‘always-on’ generation. They won’t remember a world without smartphones, and find the idea of being unable to be connected to friends, family and indeed the rest of the world by phone and internet completely alien.

So, have you thought about how you might be planning to attract, recruit and retain this new influx of workers?

The UK also has a severe digital skills shortage, so these young people, with their in-built digital skills are going to be hugely valuable in the workplace. But you need to be aware that their attitudes and expectations around the working environment could be vastly different to the previous generation.

Report Findings

The findings of the Amaze Generation: digital me report which has studied 10 to 15-year-olds over the past five years, are intriguing. It revealed that these young people have developed processes and strategies to deal with the digital world around them, in every aspect of their life from relationships, self-esteem and careers to education, pastimes and shopping.

They are not, as you might have first thought, digital slaves obsessed with taking selfies, instead they are shaping and moulding the digital world around them. See the video here.  They are already digital strategists and content editors – though they may not realise it yet – they edit their own personae online and create their own personal brands. They want constant communication, but in a form of their own – they want intimate networks, not intrusion.

What this means to an organisation

As they come into the workplace, Generation Z will already be able to manage their own lives from a smartphone, and be capable of dealing with the latest technologies or new trends quickly. They will be surprised if their workplace cannot do the same.

They won’t be scared of new technologies and processes, they will be able to work around them, not be scared that a new development will take their job away.

You can expect them to challenge communication technologies and processes, as well as ways of remote working – and coming up with their own, probably improved methods of working.

And for HR…

As HR professionals, we will have to be aware that they are used to getting almost instant feedback and will want their working lives to offer positive experiences. They will be looking for the freedom and flexibility to be creative, and will expect to work in an atmosphere where they feel valued and where they can achieve their potential.

So how can you attract these Post-Milennials to your organisation? Well, make sure they know that they can have an input into the way the company works, and that their ideas will be appreciated. You need to ensure they feel like they will have a future with your organisation – managers should have genuine conversations with them, recognise their good work, and offer decent benefits and salaries.

If you commit to investing in these young employees, allow them the freedom to grow and thrive and they will reward you with their loyalty and their talent.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR.

T: 07767 308717 or send a message.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Election 2017
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What HR Professionals Need to Know about the General Election

From political discussions in the office to what the election result could mean to you, here’s what you need to know…

One of the first issues when a general election is called is the matter of politics within the workplace.

Of course, you can’t ban any talk of politics or the general election – it will be uppermost in many people’s minds and on the news constantly. But you are entitled to stop political campaigning at work, which might cause disruption or upset to your staff or customers – and of course if they try to use work equipment for their campaigning, for instance, using the photocopier to produces masses of leaflets.

You are also entitled to stop any political symbols being worn at work. Do you have a dress code or a policy on political activities in the workplace? Use these to let your staff know about your expectations. And with Brexit being at the fore of all parties campaigning in the run-up to the election, any comments that could be construed as harassment, particularly towards other nationalities, is a strict no-go area. HR departments may need to be prepared for conflict on this matter.

So, onto the election and the policies that could affect those of us working in HR.

Conservative Plans

It is expected that Theresa May is planning to protect workers’ rights, as she is said to want to create a fairer, equal society and to aid social mobility. The Conservatives said they would ‘protect and enhance’ workers’ rights in the Brexit White Paper – which would include the three million EU nationals living in the UK, as well as UK citizens in the EU.

Most parties want to keep the employment rights we already enjoy under the EU, so hopefully most of these won’t be changed much, whoever wins the election.

Hopefully May will also stay firm to her promise to help to end the stigma of mental health in the workplace, and the Tories have already promised to back legislation on the gender pay gap – so let’s hope that won’t change either.

Labour Plans

If Labour come to power, Jeremy Corbyn has promised that they would raise the minimum wage for all to a minimum of £10 an hour by 2020. Good news for employees, although there may be some companies questioning if they could afford it. Labour also want to add another four bank holidays to the calendar – these could be especially significant for companies that work with counterparts overseas who don’t have the same days off.

At the moment, the Taylor Review is looking into modern employment practices, including the gig economy and zero hour contracts – so it is hoped that this does not get forgotten amongst all the political campaigning – and its findings overlooked. Read more on the review here.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR.

T: 07767 308717 or send a message.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Budget
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The Budget and what it means for HR

This is the last time that we will see a Spring Budget – the main budget will be seen in the Autumn from now on – so the way businesses plan their year may also change in response to this.

These are the main points that concern HR and human resources departments:

Self-employment

The announced plan to increase NI rates of the self-employed was met by uproar, especially as the present government has made a pledge to support the small business. As a result, Chancellor Philip Hammond had to make a U-turn on this in the days that followed the announcement. Good news for the moment for the ever-increasing gig economy.  Read our previous blogs on the Gig Economy here.

The initial decision was intended to help even up the tax benefits between employed and self-employed people, with Hammond stating that there was around a £4,000 disparity between the tax paid by an employed and self-employed person each earning £32,000. However, as critics have stated, the self-employed don’t benefit from the likes of sick pay, holiday pay and maternity pay to name just a few.

But as more people diversify in their working lives, experts say that this has only served to highlight that issues with taxation will become ever more complex – and could be a threat to the gig economy if people can no longer afford to freelance.

Back to work

An interesting development for those of us in HR is the promise to support those returning to work after a career break. A total of £5 million has been set aside to help these people, which will of course include many women coming back into the workforce after having children.

Business rate

Business rates are set to be capped, so that they will not rise by more than £50 a month. A £300m discretionary fund will go to local authorities to enable them to help businesses with their rates where they see fit.

National Living Wage

As we know from the Autumn Statement, the National Living Wage is set to increase to £7.50 this month. The personal tax allowance rises to £11,500 and the higher tax rate now starts at £45,000.

Educations, skills and training

Technical skills come into focus, with the launch of T-Levels, for those training in the sector from age 16-19, while the number of technical courses available will be cut in order to raise the quality of the remaining ones. £40 million will be ploughed into the Department of Education to test and pilot a number of lifelong learning projects. Increasing STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and maths) in schools is also going to be a priority.

 

And finally, you should have heard from the Pensions Adviser or someone in your organisation who may have information about your staging date. Most payroll companies use the auto-enrolment software and can set up the scheme, but if you have any queries please contact us at admin@embracehr.co.uk.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR.

T: 07767 308717 or send a message.

 

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.